Audience

Concerts and Events

2017-2018 Concert Season

If you have questions about events, call Lynn at (781) 608-7218.

Print out the latest concert postcard, and please help us spread the word by passing them out to your friends!

Tickets for concerts in Watertown (not house concerts or other events) can be purchased online at BrownPaperTickets.com.

Upcoming Events:

FSSGB is a sponsoring organization of TradMaD Camp, Saturday 25 August – Friday 31 August 2018, at Pinewoods Camp, Plymouth MA! This summer's camp was so much fun that people are already signing up for next year - get your reservations in before it sells out!

Here's what we presented earlier this season:

 


 

Woody Guthrie

Bound for Glory (Woody Guthrie Tribute)

Sunday, August 6, 2pm
(rain date Sunday, August 20, 2pm)
Old Manse, 269 Monument St., Concord

FSSGB is pleased to present "Bound for Glory", a Woody Guthrie Tribute show. This is a free concert performed outside under a tent, adjacent to the Old Manse in Concord, near North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. It features a lot of FSSGB members, many of whom have performed in former Woody shows way back to the 60's, along with newer FSSGB members.

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Norman Kennedy

Norman Kennedy House Concert

Saturday, September 23, 2017, 8pm
Cambridge, MA
General admission: $20
$5 for students
Reservations required: email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
reservations and directions.

Norman Kennedy is an unaccompanied singer of traditional Scottish songs. He learned his songs naturally by growing up around some of the great Scottish singers of the last generation. He has a wide repertoire of songs learned directly from them without the facility of tapes and records. He learned them, not because he wanted to be a folk singer, but because even as a boy he was drawn to the music.

In concert, Norman draws only from that body of old songs. His concerts have a relaxed informality about them. He comes out on stage, takes a seat and seemingly starts a conversation with the audience. His dry sense of humor and memory of the stories surrounding the songs make his listeners appreciate not only the old songs, but the old ways as well. "You can tell stories, you can recite them, you can sing them," he says. Singing and recollecting are all part of the same cloth. With this directness he presents ballads -- stories of love won and lost, betrayal, death -- in a way that holds everyone's attention.

Norman shares what is enduring about traditional songs - their authenticity to life, the humorous turns of every-day events, the beauty of old melodies. As Norman explains it: "These songs are my roots; they're older and more important than I am." This unpretentiousness makes Norman's music as wonderful to the audience as it is important to him.

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Richard Grainger

Richard Grainger House Concert

Thursday, October 5, 2017, 8pm
Newton Corner, MA
General admission: $20
$5 for students
Reservations required: email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
reservations and directions.

Richard Grainger is a prolific and diverse artist, performing on the British Folk Scene. Born in Middlesbrough, an industrial town on the North East coast of England, he was brought up in a musical family, and sang with them from a very young age. He now resides in Whitby, North Yorkshire. 30 years have elapsed since he made his first recording.

From his early days, Richard toured the north east folk clubs and was invited to join the popular Teesside Fettlers Folk Group in 1981. He followed in the footsteps of Vin Garbutt , and his 'mentor' Ron Angel. Richard's songs achieved wider recognition in the process.

In 1984 his first solo album was released by FELLSIDE. It received great reviews – some comparing him to the ‘incomparable’ Nic Jones and Martin Carthy. Before long, Richard was touring throughout the UK at folk clubs and major festivals and was regularly heard ‘live’ and on record on BBC’s Folk Show on Radio 2.

Known as a widely respected songwriter and guitarist with a clear and captivating vocal style, his songs are performed widely by artists including The Wilson Family, Flossie Malavialle, GU4, John Morris, Dick Miles, Monkeys Fist , KImbers Men, Derek Gifford and many more.

Richard Grainger writes songs with evocative and moving tunes and you feel that they are immersed in that part of the North east where he lives, the land of Moorland and Coast contrasted with heavily industrialised Teesside. Besides a large traditional repertoire including some original interpretations of songs such as 'Polly on the Shore' and 'Gatherin Rushes', Grainger also performs wonderful songs from his own pen.

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Bob Bovee

Bob Bovee House Concert

Sunday, November 5, 2017, 2-4:30pm (note the early time!)
W. Concord, MA
General admission: $20
$5 for students
Reservations required: email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
reservations and directions.

Bob is a Nebraska native whose family sang and played the old-time songs. Many of the western and railroad songs he does were learned from his grandmother. He plays banjo and autoharp, sings and yodels, and can drive a dance band with his guitar and harmonica. Bob is well known and loved for his dry and witty stage humor.

Since 1971 Bob has traveled the country taking old time music to audiences of all ages at festivals, fairs, concerts, dances, schools, libraries, music camps, radio and TV programs. This is rural music as played in homes, at dances and for earlier entertainments such as minstrel shows and country radio.

Along with a repertoire including dance tunes, ballads, cowboy songs, humorous and sentimental numbers, blues and rags, he spices their shows with stories, history and folklore. Bob sings (yodels, too) and plays guitar, harmonica, banjo and autoharp.

"No one handles old-time cowboy and humorous songs better than Bob. His vocals are hauntingly rough. His guitar and harmonica are as good as you will ever hear. Whether performing in concert, playing for a barn dance, or on a recording, Bob leaves you wanting more." Don Stevens, All Music Guide

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Pub Carol Sing

Start your holiday season with Boston's favorite Christmas tradition - the annual Pub Carol Sing!

Sunday, December 3, 2017, 2-5 pm

in the back room at Doyle's Cafe
3484 Washington St.
Jamaica Plain, MA

Sponsored by the Folk Song Society of Greater Boston
and The West Gallery Quire.

Come and sing Carols from the Sheffield, West Gallery, and Sacred Harp traditions (as well as some standard favorites), led by Bruce Randall of The West Gallery Quire.

With special guests, The Paper Bag Mummers, providing merriment and mayhem!

Suitable for all voices and melodic instruments. Music will be available.

Free! (but we will pass the hat for the waitress)

Contact Bruce Randall (melismata@hotmail.com) for more information.


Midweek Singers

Annual FSSGB Members' Concert

wheelchair-accessible
Saturday, January 27, 2018, 7:30pm
Doors open at 7:00pm
First Parish of Watertown
35 Church Street, Watertown
$12.00 general admission, $10.00 FSSGB members and students
All children 17 and under free
(See map and calculate directions on MapQuest)
For public transportation, check the MBTA web site.
This venue is handicap accessible

Purchase tickets online at BrownPaperTickets.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

The annual FSSGB members' concert is always a popular event. Our members perform songs which range from traditional ballads to original compositions, and from instrumental to a cappella pieces. Some of the instruments that have been played at this concert in the past include violin, cello, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass, keyboard and concertina. Some FSSGB members who have performed at this event have gone on to have successful performing careers, such as Elijah Wald, Mark Ryer, Fool's Errand and Merle Roesler.

Our hosts will be Ellen Schmidt and Paul Beck. They are talented performers who play out regularly, often accompanied by fellow FSSGB members.

FSSGB members (including new members!) are invited to sign up to perform - one song or a spoken word piece. You may perform alone or with others. Some performers have been participating for years; others will do so for the first time. Children are most welcome. The program will feature professional musicians as well as living room folk enthusiasts. All are welcome. The Midweek Singers are an important part of the program as are the many members who show up especially for this event. The audience is always supportive and lively.

Contact Lori Fassman at lori@fassman.com to sign up by January 17.

Proceeds from this show help keep the Society strong - we thank the performers and the audience for making this event possible.

Click here to hear some recordings done by our talented members!

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Martha Burns House Concert and Workshop

House Concert: Saturday, February 24, 2018, 8pm
Worksohp: Sunday, February 25, 2018, Time TBA
Location TBA
Admission TBA
Reservations required: email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
reservations and directions.

Martha Burns sings old-time American folk songs the old-time way. Heart songs, cowboy songs, tragic ballads and comic ditties – songs from the mountains and songs from the range. Songs from the earliest period of recorded country music and songs never sung in a studio. Her haunting voice is perfectly suited to her old-time repertoire. An accomplished guitarist, Martha's accompaniments bring out the pith in a song. She has been singing and playing American folk music since Hoover was in the White House - well, almost - and has performed throughout North America and abroad.

More information about the workshop will be posted soon.

You can find out more about Martha on her website, www.marthaburns.net.

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Three Sheets to the Wind

Benefit Concert with Three Sheets to the Wind

wheelchair-accessible
Saturday, March 10, 2018, 8pm
Doors open at 7:30pm
First Parish of Watertown
35 Church Street, Watertown
Admission: TBA
(See map and calculate directions on MapQuest)
For public transportation, check the MBTA web site.
This venue is handicap accessible

Three Sheets to the Wind is a chantey and sea music group out of Gloucester, MA. Weekly sings on Monday evenings are held at the Dog Bar Pub in Gloucester from 6 to 9 pm and have been ongoing for almost 14 years. The group has performed in venues such as The Gloucester’s Mayor’s Cup schooner races, Essex Music Festival, Mystic Sea Music Festival, Essex Shipbuilding Museum Basin Fest, Essex Clamfest, Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festivals, Lowell’s Boat Shop events, Salem Antique and Wooden Boat Shows, Press Room Shanty sings, Tall Ship’s Portsmouth, Charles Morgan Homecoming - New Bedford, USS Constitution Museum, L’Hermione vessel tour Boston, Rocky Neck Nights on the Neck, Gloucester Reads Literacy events, Gloucester Block Parties and Middle Street Walks, Rockport New Year's Eve, Gloucester Meeting House, Shirley - Eustis House, Marblehead Farmer’s Market, General Electric, Schooner Adventure, Old South Meeting House, 300th Anniversary of Boston Head Light, shipboard events, museum events, school events, nursing homes and assisted living centers as well as a few funerals, birthdays and weddings.

Many who participate have years of established song and sea history to offer as we roar up a storm of song and good cheer for our audiences. Good power vocals and terrific harmonies arise wherever we go….we also have a good time and enjoy what we do….as will be seen. Good cheer abounds. Audience participation is a must!!!! Come join us!

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Judy Cook

Judy Cook House Concert

Saturday, April 14, 2018, 8pm
Location TBA
General admission: $20
$5 for students
Reservations required: email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
reservations and directions.

Judy, who lives in Maryland, has been on the road since the early 1990s, making her own the songs and ballads of traditional Americana and the British Isles. She is respected on both sides of the Atlantic as both a singer and interpreter of traditional songs. Born in Virginia, the third of four children, Judy grew up with singing from both parents and a love for music - “We sang at the table, we sang washing dishes, we sang riding in the car, they sang lullabies to us.”

In the UK, Sara Grey introduced Judy to the folk community at the Whitby Festival in 1997. She has quickly come to be well-respected on both sides of the Atlantic as a singer and propagator of the old songs. Her joy in singing, deep respect for the tradition, and sense of humor delight her listeners.

Judy’s first recording of unaccompanied traditional songs and ballads, If You Sing Songs… was released in 1998, followed two years later by Far From the Lowlands.

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Sara Grey and Brian Miller

Sara Grey and Brian Miller House Concert

Thursday, April 26, 2018, 8pm
Location TBA
General admission: $20
$5 for students
Reservations required: email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
reservations and directions.

Sara and Brian present songs From the logging camps of Northern New England, New Brunswick Ontario, Minnesota and Wisconsin that migrated from Ireland.

Sara Grey is an American singer, banjo player and song collector, who is immersed in the song traditions of both sides of the Atlantic. She now lives in Rockland, ME. Her passionate interest is to maintain and strengthen the links between Celtic and American culture.

Brian Miller, born in Bemidji, MN is one of the most sought-after musicians in the North American Irish music scene. He has devoted much time to the research and revival of Irish-influenced music collected in the north woods regions of the US and Canada.

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Tannahill Weavers

Tannahill Weavers 50th Anniversary Concert

wheelchair-accessible
Friday, June 8, 2018, 8pm
Doors open at 7:30pm
Belmont-Watertown United Methodist Church
421 Common Street, Belmont
Admission TBD
This venue is handicap accessible

As they approach their 50th anniversary in 2018, the Tannahill Weavers are one of Scotland's premier traditional bands. Their diverse repertoire spans the centuries with fire-driven instrumentals, topical songs, and original ballads and lullabies. Their music demonstrates to old and young alike the rich and varied musical heritage of the Celtic people. These versatile musicians have received worldwide accolades consistently over the years for their exuberant performances and outstanding recording efforts that seemingly can't get better...yet continue to do just that.

The Tannahills have turned their acoustic excitement loose on audiences with an electrifying effect. They have that unique combination of traditional melodies, driving rhythmic accompaniment, and rich vocals that make their performances unforgettable. As the Winnipeg Free Press noted, "The Tannahill Weavers - properly harnessed - could probably power an entire city for a year on the strength of last night's concert alone. The music may be old time Celtic, but the drive and enthusiasm are akin to straight ahead rock and roll."

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Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman House Concert

Thursday, August 23, 2018, 8pm
Location TBA
General admission: $20
$5 for students
Reservations required: email HouseConcerts@fssgb.org for
reservations and directions.

Dave and Anni joined forces in 1985, after spending many years around the folk club scene, in which time they featured on several albums made by other performers.

Although Dave and Anni perform substantially at home in the UK they also make at least one trip each year to the United States, where they have an established following and have also performed in Holland, Denmark and Finland.

Anni has developed a specialist repertoire of songs originating from her native North East, and Dave has been writing songs in traditional vein since 1982 many of these are widely sung and have become part of the general song repertoire of singers all over the world.

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